Looking Forward to the 2015-16 UCLA Basketball Season


The Bruins have had a wild ride this year finishing off the season with a 22-14 record and ending their year in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament. Although no one thought UCLA basketball would make the tournament considering they played so poorly away from home, they were able to prove that they did in fact earn their spot.

Mar 19, 2015; Louisville, KY, USA; UCLA Bruins forward Kevon Looney (5) shoots the ball during the first half against the Southern Methodist Mustangs in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Next year the Bruins are going to be losing some of their best guys. Norman Powell will be graduating and most likely moving on to the NBA. There is a good chance freshman Kevon Looney will go as a first round pick in the NBA as well and just these two leaving will have a large impact on our team for next year.

Although as a school, UCLA would be proud to see Looney move forward, it would of been great to see him stay a little longer so that he could help out the team, improve his skills, and earn himself a higher draft stock. However, when the NBA is calling your name, you can’t help but pick up the phone and put yourself into the lottery.

While some may be leaving, a few good ones are sticking with the Bruins and planning to return next year.

Starters Bryce Alford, Isaac Hamilton, and Tony Parker, will all be returning and will hopefully only be taking their skills to new heights. Next season it would be great to see consistency from all these guys.

Jan 24, 2015; Eugene, OR, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Bryce Alford (20) dribbles the ball against the Oregon Ducks at Matthew Knight Arena. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

I hope that Alford will continue to work on his 3-point shots so that it may serve as a consistent weapon next year, Parker increasing his point total and Hamilton showing us that he can play as well as he did against USC in the Pac-12 Tournament. If the guys can stay out of foul trouble, especially Parker, and focus on the game, they will be good to go.

UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins /

UCLA Bruins

Bruin fans will also be seeing some new guys including Aaron Holiday, the younger brother of Jrue Holiday who is currently a point guard for the Philadelphia 76er, and shooting guard Prince Ali.

Holiday is currently ranked the 15th best point-guard in the country and the 85th best overall recruit according to ESPN. Prince Ali is ranked as the 12th best shooting guard and is 41st on the top 100 list.

With these two joining the team and hopefully incorporating themselves into learning how to play well with their fellow teammates, the Bruins could very well make it to the tournament again next season.

My highest hope for this upcoming season is to see more from our less mentioned players. Noah Allen will gain some more time on the court and we would all like to see him succeed, he just has to have the confidence in himself to know that he is a great player and can help take the Bruins to greatness.

Rather than constantly passing the ball to the big guys like Alford and Powell, it would be great to see Allen follow through on his shots and put more than 1 or 2 points on the board per game.

Dec 28, 2014; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide guard Levi Randolph (20) shoots around UCLA Bruins center Thomas Welsh (40) during the first half at Coleman Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Welsh will also feel more comfortable returning as a sophomore and will most likely be on our radars next year as a great team player. If Welsh can keep up the momentum he gained earlier this season, Bruin fans can expect to see some big improvements in his scoring totals and his defensive skills. There is a lot of potential on our team, the guys just have to take that potential and use it!

Looking ahead to the 2015-16 season, Bruin fans have high hopes. Maybe this could be the year we see the Bruins back in the championship game? All we can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst, but I do believe it can be great next season for UCLA Basketball.